Erica Portell’s early ballet training was Vaganova-based at the Jordan Academy of Butler University and with Indianapolis Ballet Company. As a teen she also studied with accomplished Broadway dancer Billy Kersey in New York City and then attended Ball State University, training with Lou Ann Young in the Cecchetti Ballet syllabus.
While in college, Ms. Portell discovered ballroom dancing, and trained with Blackpool Ballroom Champion trainer Chuck Mason. She is an accomplished competitor in Professional American Rhythm and has competed and taught extensively throughout the U.S., Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Cuba. She has performed with Royal Caribbean cruises, was a guest artist with Indiana University and Purdue University Moving Company, and was a featured performer on Sabor y Salsa Mexico Open Dance Sport Championship, which aired in Mexico.
Ms. Portell has been teaching dance for over 20 years, and has been the Dance Director of several large commercial dance studios. She founded the dance program at Dodge City Community College in Kansas, directed The Alley hip-hop troupe, and founded the “Dance as Fitness” program in Southwest Kansas. She has also coached several students to spots as Oklahoma City Thunder Girls, The Indiana Pacemates, Indianapolis Colts Cheerleaders, and the semi-finals of “So You Think You Can Dance.” She is an American Ballet Theatre® Fellowship Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum and has successfully presented students for examinations for 4 consecutive years. Ms. Portell has also completed Dance for PD training with David Leventhal and Mark Morris Dance Company. She currently teaches Primary B, Primary C, Level 1B, Jazz, Ballroom, and Dance for Parkinson’s classes at The Oklahoma City Ballet Yvonne Chouteau School.